Vegas loves to test your limits. If you think a $15 to $20 cocktail is overpriced, think again. There are some decadent drinks in Sin City that can literally empty your bank account.
We’ve recently scoured the bars, nightclubs and restaurants in this epicenter of excess and found nine luxury cocktails or spirits that cost between $100 and $10,000 (shown below in ascending order).
Of course, if you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it…or so goes the saying goes. But in Vegas, anything can happen. You could have a run of luck at the craps tables or even hit Megabucks.
If you decide to splurge on one of these budget-busting beverages, here’s a tip: Try to consume it slowly so that you can savor the over-the-top, once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, if you should gulp it down, no worries…the bartender will be only too glad to get you another one.
A shot of Gran Patrón Burdeos Añejo
What it costs: $185
Does the word “tequila” bring back memories of licking salt off your hand, knocking back a shot glass and sucking a lime? A taste of Gran Patrón Burdeos Añejo will erase all of that by showing you the iconic Mexican spirit can be refined. In fact, this premium tequila has been distilled three times, aged for 12 months and comes packaged in an elegant crystal bottle. Gran Patrón Burdeos Añejo also boasts a dark color that doesn’t look like typical tequilas. At Hyde Bellagio it’s served straight up in a snifter with no garnishes, so you can truly enjoy the smooth, sweet flavor.
What it costs: $350
Harry Craddock, who’d left America during Prohibition, became one of London’s most influential barmen while working at The Savoy hotel. He was the first to pen the recipe for this drink when he published “The Savoy Cocktail Book” in 1930. Other than being refreshingly cold because it’s mixed with ice, the name “Alaska Cocktail” is a bit of a mystery. It’s made with just three ingredients: gin, yellow chartreuse and orange bitters. At Lavo Lounge, the gin of choice is Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin – a premium spirit containing saffron. It comes from the Netherlands-based Nolet Distillery, which is synonymous with the good life.
What it costs: $400
The spirits used to craft the 1914 Sidecar are extraordinary. One even has a venerable history dating back to the years around World War I. As the story goes, the men of Segonzac, a small town near Cognac, France, had been called upon to fight on the Western Front. After their departure, the women who remained behind distilled a small batch of the region’s famous tipple – the Ferrand Cognac Memoire 1914. At Lily this precious Cognac is combined with the equally precious Grand Marnier Quintessence liqueur and lemon juice in a sugar-rimmed martini glass to create the 1914 Sidecar. Although your wallet may feel a cramp when you order it, this is one of the most delicious and timeless cocktails around.
Royal ’70s flight
What it costs: $474
A good steak often calls for a stiff drink. That’s why Cut, an esteemed steakhouse by restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, is a great place to indulge in fine and rare whiskies. Several flights have been assembled here so that you can sample three different selections in small 1-ounce portions. Cut’s most exclusive whisky flight is the Royal ’70s featuring The Macallan 1976, Jura 1976 and Dalmore 1974. Although it’s got a crazy price tag, these high-end spirits are sure to bring you joy while you revisit a beloved decade – without having to put on a pair of bellbottoms.
The Macallan 1950
What it costs: $700 (1 ounce) or $1,330 (2 ounces)
When it comes to super premium spirits, you would be hard-pressed to find anything better than The Macallan 1950. Carefully aged for 52 years, this fine single malt whisky comes from the Speyside region in Morayshire within the Highlands of Scotland. While some cocktails in Vegas tend to get overblown with ingredients, this gentleman’s drink is offered simply in a 1- or 2-ounce pour. “What we like to do is bring the bottle out to the guests, so they can see it being poured in front of them,” said Constantin Alexander, beverage manager of Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant. As part of the experience, photos are usually taken with the bottle. The Macallan 1950 is served in a crystal whisky glass with a logo compressed ice sphere on the side. Not commonly sold in U.S. restaurants, Alexander said that imbibing a drink like this is often about doing something rare in Vegas and then being able to go home and talk about it. Ordering The Macallan 1950 is also an unforgettable way to celebrate a special occasion. As it happens, this particular bottle arrived in town for the grand opening of Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant – and both will be celebrating their one-year anniversaries at the end of April.
What it costs: $2,500
Everyone loves a glass of Champagne on its own, but the bubbly beverage is also fantastic in a cocktail. Like a match made in heaven, the Fizz Deluxe – which is based on the classic French 75 drink recipe – pairs Grand Marnier Quintessence and Hennessy Richard Cognac. This cocktail also includes fresh lemon juice, Monin Rose syrup and egg whites for texture…with a finishing touch of Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagne. An attention-getting cocktail (as it should be for a whopping $2,500), the Fizz Deluxe is also capped off with a rose petal that’s been dusted with 24-karat gold flakes.
Ménage à Trois
What it costs: $3,000
Interested in a delicious dalliance? When it comes to sipping the high life, Ménage à Trois is an alluring combination of three posh spirits: Cristal Rose Champagne, Hennessey Ellipse Cognac and 150-year-old Grand Marnier liqueur. This flirtatious cocktail also features 23-karat golf flakes and liquid gold syrup. Plus, if you indulge in it, you’ll get to take home the Tryst logo straw, which has a real diamond set into the “Y.”
What it costs: $5,000
In February, XS nightclub unveiled a flashy and pricey libation in honor of its fifth year in operation. Costing five big ones, the Five Star will be available throughout 2014. It’s named for the level of service found at Wynn Resorts properties. Among the main ingredients are four distinguished spirits: Louis XIII Rare Cask 42.6, Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year, Martini Gran Lusso 150th Anniversary Vermouth and D.O.M. Benedictine “Black Monk” 500th Anniversary Edition. The Five Star also contains Peychaud’s Bitters and Angostura Bitters. Adding to the experience is the tableside preparation. Upon completion, the glass will be garnished with flamed orange oils and handed off to you on a gold tray.
What it costs: $10,000
The Ono is also served at XS. At twice the cost of the Five Star, it’s easily the most expensive cocktail in Las Vegas. What exactly can you expect if you splash out for it? Imagine two magnificent spirits, Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 and Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Black Pearl Cognac, merged in a stunningly beautiful Champagne glass. Ideal for couples, this luxury cocktail comes with some additional bling – a pair of men’s sterling silver XS logo cufflinks and a woman’s 18-karat white gold chain with a black pearl pendant – so you’ll be able to remember the experience long after you’ve finished off the drink.